WICHITA, Kan. Kansas Department of Labor (KDOL) officials announced Wednesday an effort to cut down on unemployment fraud, an issue, they say, is "a serious drain on the state's economy."
KDOL says it's "spotlighting the severe consequences of the crime."
KDOL explains that unemployment fraud is "the misrepresentation of information by an individual for purposes of collecting unemployment benefits."
"Anyone who collects unemployment while knowingly doing something that would make them ineligible has committed fraud," KDOL says.
KDOL says it has investigated nearly 21,000 potential fraudulent unemployment benefits cases since 2012 and more than $23 million have been recovered and returned to the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund.
The unemployment insurance fraud costs employers and workers across Kansas in lost jobs, lost profit, highers costs and lower wages, KDOL says and employer tax rates are affected when workers make fraudulent claims against their account.
"All allegations of fraud are taken seriously," Kanas Labor Secretary Lana Gordon says. "We want to preserve the Trust Fund for Kansans who truly need to avail themselves of those benefits. The vast majority of Kansans are applying for those benefits correctly."
KDOL says unemployment insurance fraud is a felony and the law requires KDOL to investigate all reported cases of unemployment fraud.
If you believe someone is fraudulently collecting unemployment benefits, you're advised to immediately report it to the Fraud Investigation Unit. You can make an anonymous report online